March 10, 2013 Subject:
Ditto what everyone below said. Sound is only slightly scratchy, but that's easily filtered out with GOM or VLS media player equalizers, but not necessary to enjoy this great 79 year old film with an excellent plot. 4 stars. Melvin Douglas, Ralph Bellamy, and Fay Wray. Written by Dashiel Hammet. Can't beat that in 1934! Thank you IA!
July 18, 2012 Subject:
Very enjoyable, may watch again
April 25, 2011 Subject:
Three big stars on Poverty Row
It's amazing that they got these three actors for such a low-budget production. They really elevate the story, and make it a better film than it would otherwise be. All three stars had been appearing in big studio films- at RKO, Warners, MGM, and other classy studios. Fay Wray made "King Kong" just the year before, Douglas had already co-starred with Garbo and Gloria Swanson, and Bellamy had appeared with Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn, and lots of others. So they weren't your usual Poverty Row actors- new kids just starting out, or old-timers on their way down. It makes you wonder how they all ended up in this film. Were they between pictures and/or contracts at the bigger studios? Well, whatever the reasons were, their presences make this a more interesting movie.
Ditto the involvement of Dashiell Hammett. This film doesn't come anywhere near being as good as "The Maltese Falcon" or "The Thin Man," but it does have some good points. Aside from the three excellent leads, there is some good stuff with the couple who helps Bellamy out, by letting him stay in their apartment. They could be characters out of better-known Hammett stories, like "The Thin Man." And the doggedness of the sheriff, who wants to nail Bellamy, reminds me of the cops in "Falcon," who are always trying to get something on Bogart.
Fay Wray sure was a beautiful woman. I don't think she was a fantastic actress, but she was good in some films. Melvyn Douglas is one of my favorites. He was very dapper, and had a sly charm. It's strange seeing him play a nasty bad guy in this film. You expect him to say something funny, and then go into a comedy thing. Ralph Bellamy was always dependable, and could do a variety of parts. He's probably best remembered today for the screwball comedies he did, such as "The Awful Truth", with Cary Grant, and for playing Franklin Delano Roosevelt. And also for being the rich buddy of equally-rich Don Ameche in "Trading Places," with Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd.
Anyway, I enjoyed this film. It isn't a top-flight movie, but the three stars add something to it. And just looking at Fay Wray is enough to keep me happy.
Reviewer:Dr Feel Rotten
November 28, 2010 Subject:
Ralph (Bellamy) gets out of jail on a manslaughter charge then wants to go straight, but the sheriff is in for him with his buddy the bad guy, but Ralph also happens to e pals with the sheriffs daughter and then some mysterious woman the bad guy had is running from him and ends up at Ralphs place. Bad guy shows up up to get her back, but she doesn't want to go and Ralph falls for her himself..Ralph gets in trouble when bad guys pal shoots Ralph's dog and Ralph punches him knocking him out and bad guy presses fake charges on Ralph.
This was believable for the most part. A few segments weren't quite in touch with reality, but most was. The acting wasn't fantastic, but OK.
The only real drawback I had with it was the film stopped in several places, but that might have been memory issues on my part.
November 19, 2010 Subject:
It was pretty good
I really liked the characters a lot.
Pretty good story, moved OK, adequate acting. Enjoyable.